When I first bought this book and brought it back home in September, my husband Tim was skeptical. “Another cookbook?” he asked, reasonably, motioning at the more than 100 cookbooks I have on our bookshelves. “Really? I assume it’s for the blog, then?”
I explained that actually, no, it wasn’t for the blog. At least it wasn’t at that point. I just bought it mostly because I wanted to support the work of The Hubb Community Kitchen, which was opened after the horrific Grenfell Fire tragedy as a kitchen for displaced people to use. Proceeds from the cookbook are used to help fund the kitchen, and they’ve already been able to refurbish the space and to be open for seven days a week (up from two days a week before the cookbook), so it worked. There are, to be sure, some recipes in here that I can find elsewhere in my cookbook collection. But that’s not the point.
Green Rice was the first thing I cooked out of this book when I first bought it. The author of the recipe is from Iraq, and she writes it’s a version of a traditional dish from there, making this the first time I’ve ever cooked from an Iraqi recipe. It was delicious.
I’ve since made it subsequent times, and it’s been a hit every time. I made it again when Andrew was home from university over Christmas, and he loved it too. It does require a bit of forward planning, because the lamb has to simmer for an hour before you get on with the rest of the recipe, but it is easy. Most surprising of all, even though it’s got a fair amount of dill in it, even Tim, who hates dill with a passion, liked it. When I expressed surprise, he said there were enough other flavours in it that you didn’t notice the dill as much.
Just writing about it again is making my mouth water for it. Highly recommended.